When we first saw pictures of our new base house the first thing I noticed was the big huge EMPTY walls (no doors, no windows, no trim, nothing aesthetically pleasing).
My mind immediately went to paint colors, the perfect way to bring life to a blank wall.
I had visions of winter grey, pale blues and pinks, and soft yellows in the living spaces. And blue/green bar in the kitchen. I picked out the pink and blue colors for Aowyn’s room. And I even bought one of the paints before we moved because I found the perfect color for the bathroom.
I have to admit I cried a little bit when we signed our lease and they told us we can’t paint ANY THING in the house.
So I went to the source of all my peace and solace when it comes to decorating woes, Pinterest. Pinterest came to my rescue and I decided that if I can’t paint the walls then by golly I was going to add as much awesome color to my walls and rooms as I could.
I sat down and thought about the colors that I wanted each room to be.
To me, colors give a room its life, its spirit.
Dark colors (like brown, maroon, dark green) are warm and inviting to me. They make me want to cuddle up with a blanket and sleep. They are soothing. They remind me of my grandmothers and my mother. They DO NOT make me feel bright and cheery.
There is very little natural light in this house. (I am not sure what they were thinking when they put up a wall between the window and the living room… but It does give me more beautiful wall space to work with.)
Because of the lack of natural light, I decided that the family room and dining room needed colors that would give them a bright and airy feeling.
Our family room and dining room are one big room so for this room I needed colors that would carry from one space to the next, but would also separate the rooms.
It is important when you are working with a large space that is meant to be two rooms that you carry over the feel, but that you also create a NEW atmosphere in each room.
Doing this will make sure that you don’t have a choppy feel to your spaces but that you also have two separate rooms.
The best way for this to happen is to use some (not all) of the same themes from one space to the next.
I decided I wanted light blue, bright white and black to be my carry over colors.
These would be the colors that are in both rooms.
I then decided that I also wanted turquoise, green and cream to be my colors in the family room.
Once I had my colors I started the fun part, the shopping.
I shopped my house. (always shop your house first, these are the things you already have and love, so use them. I usually start by finding the things that either did not feel right where they were or that I really want to be a focal point of my new space. Usually after I have my theme in my head its easy to find the things I want to go in the new space.)
I shopped online and I shopped at all my favorite stores: TJMaxx, Homegoods, Hobby Lobby, Tai Pan, and Rod Works (to name a few).
The only theme I really had was my colors and the fact that I wanted things I loved.
I knew I wanted things that were bright and airy and that made me smile.
For me I wait till I find something that speaks to my heart. (maybe I am crazy but when I find the right decorations, I know in my heart that they are the perfect thing for the space. This is sooo much easier when you already have in my mind what feeling you are going for in the space.)
I wanted the only nice picture of my grandmother that I have to be in this space. I wanted our family initial. I wanted a mirror and some stars. I wanted to include family pictures and The Family: A Proclamation to the World ( go here to read more about that). I wanted to include our family rules and some things that my children can relate too.
I found all of these things shopping my house.
Now that I had my base pieces I headed out to all the amazingly perfect decorating stores in Utah.
I had to include an owl or two, because of course I LOVE owls. (it may be an unhealthy addiction that I may or may not have inherited from my great grandmother, but more about that at another time.)
I also hunted down the perfect frames and shelves as well as my apothecary jar and balls.
Once I had gathered all of the things I wanted to use, I measured the space on that wall that I wanted the “treasures” to cover.
I then measured the same area on the floor and taped off my space.
Then I took all of my things and started to lay them all out on the floor.
It took a little while for me to decide where I wanted it all to go.
I moved stuff around and changed stuff out. In the end I was left with a small pile that would not fit, but since I have so many more walls to work with that will be just fine.
I have not really finished the walls in the dining room because I am looking for a particular piece to go in there.
Patience is the key to decorating in my opinion.
If you don’t love it, don’t use it.
There are so many things I do love that its not worth it to me to waste my decorating on something I’m not in love with.
So I am patiently chomping at the bit, waiting for that perfect piece. (okay patience and me do not co-exist well together.)
Now to tell you about the things I chose and why I chose them.
It is important that you love everything you choose.
Chose it for a reason.
That way when you look at it, it will make you smile, bring back a memory or make you ponder on something close to your heart.
I chose our family initial and our family rules.
I wanted our family rules as a prominent piece in this room so that we, as a family, would always see it and be able to focus on our individual progress when it comes to keeping these rules.
I had the vinyl printed out by my wonderful friend Angela who has a business in Alaska. I tell her my harebrained crazy ideas and she makes them a reality for me. (go here to see her awesome stuff.)
The plate is something Landon (our oldest) made for me in preschool. It has been sitting in a box forever because I did not know what to do with it (this is where the shopping your house comes in handy). This wall was the perfect place to put it.
I love adding touchings of who we are into our decorations. I, of course, want the decor to be things we love but I also want there to be little pieces of us mixed in.
The bottom picture in the antique white frame is my grandmother. I had an amazing relationship with her. She was my world when I was a kid. I cried for weeks after she passed away.
She died before I was married and the thing that I am the saddest about is that Noah and our kids never got to meet her on this earth. I firmly believe that she has delivered all my babies to me. It may sound crazy but she was always the first thing in my mind when I was in labor. I cried when my first child was born because I felt her presence so strongly.
I want my children to know who she is and what an amazing woman she was.
My kids have a mission fund and we talk about going on a mission all the time.
I want this to be something that they are constantly striving for.
The temple picture says, “I am going there someday.”
I want my children to focus on the future and have the goal of a temple marriage always on their mind.
I found the white board owl at Hobby Lobby and fell in love.
It is so fun to change out the saying depending on the mood I am in.
The Proclamation to the World is down low so that the kids can read it and we can read it to remind us about whats important in life.
I love the yawning baby picture of our 3rd, Tayton. This picture was taken by the wonderful Jeanna Hayes. (here is her website.)
I want our kids to see pictures of not just us as a family but of me and their dad together as well so they can always see how much we love each other.
I took pictures of all the objects laid on the floor so that when I picked one up to hang it I would know where it went. I referred back to the pictures a lot to make sure I put everything where I had planned for it to go.
A lot of these frames had double hooks or brackets. Those were the only things that took a little bit more time to do, but they still were not bad. I talk about an easy way to hang frames or shelves that are require multiple nails, here.
I love how this room turned out, I love the colors and the bright airy feeling that this room gives off. When I am finished with the whole room I will post more pictures.
For now I am enjoying my gallery wall and the vibes it gives off.
There are still lots of empty frames that I need to fill with pictures of our 4th, Aowyn.
The poor girl doesn’t have a single picture on any of our walls.
Now that you know how to make your own gallery wall its your turn to do it.
I want to see the amazing product you create.